On April 29, the world will be watching country girl Kate Middleton walk down the aisle to Britain's Prince William of Wales. In celebration of the Royal Wedding, several members of the Art and Antiques Dealers League of America (AADLA) will present regal works of art at their inaugural Spring Show NYC, which opens at the Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue, on April 28 - May 2, 2011.
Whether you are on your way to Westminster and still need the perfect present for the newlyweds or, in fact, any betrothed couple with a penchant for majesty, here are several unique offerings: The royal engagement of the Double Portrait of King Frederick IV and Queen Louise of Mecklenburg-Güstow of Denmark is the subject of a painting by Gaspar Antoine de Bois-Clair on Robert Simon's stand. The portraits are intriguingly painted on slatted wood to show both the bride and the groom when viewing from opposite angles. All the royal families of Europe are related and this couple's grandson Frederick V forged a marriage with Britain's King George II's daughter Louisa in 1743.
A brilliantly rendered 17th century College of Heralds drawing of Sir Robert Spencer's coat of arms for $16,000.00 could be the perfect way to commemorate the wedding of the year. Hill-Stone presents this rarity along with a drawing of the arms of the Duke of Norfolk for $15,500. Wills' mother Lady Diana Spencer was a direct descendent of Sir Robert who is reputed to have been the richest man in England in his day. According to Alan Stone, these Heraldic devices, or coats of arms, were the property of the various families which they represented.
The arms appeared on official documents, bases for sculpture, and tombs. In short, they were the official signifiers of the families and spoke directly to their official positions as peers of the realm. "We, as a nation without a hereditary nobility, might see the coat of Arms as a kind of quaint anachronism, but until the beginning of the last century they were an integral part of English social structure," said Stone.
Hyde Park Antiques, Ltd. offers a magnificent 18th century giltwood mirror bearing the crest and coronet of William Wentworth, 2nd Earl of Strafford. History may have taken a different course with another family sitting on the British throne today if it weren't for Wentworth's father-in-law, the 2nd Duke of Argyll who played an important role securing the Hanoverian succession. The mirror measures an impressive 100" and is priced at $100,000.
Victoria and Albert, perhaps Britain's most famous romantic royal couple, are celebrated in a 19th century sailor's woolwork picture of the royal yacht HMY Victoria and Albert II. It will be on Earle Vandekar of Knightsbridge's stand for $8,000.
The Spring Show NYC opens with a benefit preview for the ASPCA, at the Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue and 67th Street, on Wednesday, April 27, from 5:00 to 7:00 PM by VIP invitation or $250 at the door. After 7 PM admission is $75 and the preview continues to 9:00 PM. All proceeds from preview tickets go to the ASPCA. The Honorary Co-chairs of the Connoisseurs Committee are Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. The Committee co-chairs include: Michael Bruno, Mario Buatta, David Patrick Columbia, Celerie Kemble, Brian McCarthy, Miles Redd, Ellen and Chuck Scarborough, Michael Smith, Bunny Williams, and Vicente Wolf.
The show opens to the public on Thursday, April 28. Hours are Thursday, April 28: 11:00 AM to 7:30 PM; Friday, April 29: 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM; Saturday, April 30: 11:00 AM to 7:30 PM; Sunday, May 1: 11:00 AM to 7:30 PM; and Monday, May 2: 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. General admission is $20 per person; a five-day pass is $40 per person.
Arts' Night Out, celebrating New York's Art and Antiques Week with young new collectors, is slated for Friday, April 29, from 5 - 9 pm. The $30 ticket available at the door includes that day's admission to the AADLA Spring Show NYC plus beer, wine and ABSOLUT cocktails beginning at 5 pm. Arts' Night Out is sponsored by Doyle New York, Antiques and Fine Arts Magazine, and ABSOLUT Vodka. For additional information, visit springshownyc.com.